Nassau, Bahamas – The Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation (BREEF) commemorated Earth Day 2023 with a Beach Cleanup and poster competition on Delaporte Beach in Western New Providence.
This year’s Earth Day theme was “Invest in our planet” a message that encourages all sectors of society to be accountable in taking responsibility for the well-being of the planet and future generations.
Over fifty students from across New Providence gathered at Delaporte Beach on West Bay Street where they were all able to participate as citizen scientists through the collection and reporting of trash along the shoreline. Students also took part in a poster competition.
The Earth Day event inspired students to take action through conservation activities as they worked with Youth Climate Ambassador and former BREEF BESS Scholar, Ashawnte Russell who participated and spoke about the importance of the compound effect of small actions, such as regular beach clean ups. “Little initiatives matter, beach cleanups, planting trees…these are the steps we will have to adopt in order to have our country for future generations.”
University of The Bahamas Environmental Club president, Makeda Serju shared that she was inspired by the event, explaining the events such as these are a great way to inspire our community.
“It is important to clean our environment not just for the tourists but for the locals as well, and it encourages others to participate as well”. She continued, that “If we don’t invest in our planet now, we will definitely suffer later.”
Minister of the Environment, The Hon. Vaughn P. Miller made an appearance at the event and spoke with students about the importance of their actions in preserving their environment. Also coming out to support students, Former Prime Minister and Member of Parliament for the Killarney Constituency, Dr. Hubert Minnis.
Marine environmental education is essential, according to BREEF Executive Director Casuarina McKinney-Lambert who noted that The Bahamas is greatly affected by what happens in its waters.
“The Young Reporters for the Environment programme challenges young people to look at the ocean and the land around them, identify challenges and solutions, and think about effective ways of communicating about what’s going on in the ocean around us,” she said.
The Young Reporters for the Environment programme was launched in The Bahamas with the support of a grant from the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme. Additional support has been provided by Lombard Odier and Rolex to enable children around The Bahamas to get involved with the Young Reporters for the Environment programme. A special thanks goes out to Bahamas Waste for their commitment and donation supporting BREEF’s work in promoting the conservation of the Bahamian marine environment, please visit www.breef.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.